WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 31, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today voiced its strong support for the Government Neutrality in Contracting Act (H.R. 436/S. 109), a measure introduced by Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) and Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) that would ensure fair and open competition on federal and federally funded construction projects.
“ABC urges immediate congressional passage of this important legislation,” said Greg Hoberock, 2013 ABC national chairman and CEO of hth companies, Union, Mo. “The Government Neutrality in Contracting Act will create more construction industry jobs and help taxpayers get the best possible construction project at the best possible price by increasing competition, reducing waste, and eliminating favoritism in the procurement of federal and federally assisted construction projects.
“President Obama’s 2009 Executive Order 13502 promoted the use of government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs), which effectively denied qualified merit shop contractors and their skilled employees a fair chance to build billions of dollars’ worth of taxpayer-funded projects,” said Hoberock. “This bad public policy resulted in increased costs, delays and discrimination against the 86.8 percent of the U.S. private construction workforce that chooses not to join a labor union.”
A PLA is a job-specific collective bargaining agreement with multiple construction unions. When mandated by a government agency on a taxpayer-funded project, construction contracts are awarded only to companies that agree to recognize unions as the representatives of their employees on that job; use the union hiring hall to obtain workers at the expense of existing qualified employees; obtain apprentices through union apprenticeship programs; follow inefficient union work rules; and pay into union benefit and multi-employer pension plans.
Studies indicate government-mandated PLAs increase the cost of construction projects in numerous markets between 12 percent and 18 percent compared to similar non-PLA projects.
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national association with 72 chapters representing more than 22,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms. Visit us at www.abc.org and learn more about government-mandated PLAs at www.TheTruthAboutPLAs.com, www.facebook.com/TheTruthAboutPLAs and @truthaboutplas.
Gerry Fritz, (703) 812-2062